Owner of Bay City Building Plan to Create Arts District

BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) – The owner of a historic building in Bay City hopes to inspire his community through art.

When Avram Golden bought the Old Hammond Seed Company building at the intersection of First Street and Jefferson Street, he planned to expand his printing business there.

He soon realized that the 44,000-square-foot building was more space than he needed.

When Avram Golden bought the Old Hammond Seed Company building at the intersection of First Street and Jefferson Street, he planned to expand his printing business there.(WNEM)

Golden put his artistic mind to work.

“The opportunity to create a larger arts presence in Bay City, an arts district, using projections in sculpture was quickly realized and I’m trying to get everyone around the table. Everyone has come to the table to hopefully make that happen,” Golden said.

For the past three years, Golden has worked to bring the “Jefferson Project” to life.

The 102-year-old building and the open grounds next to it are turning into a community arts district.

Featuring art studios, a sculpture garden, makerspace and more to make Bay City a cultural and industrial hub for the area.

“When you have this art technology that makes community-based space, it’s a place where everyone can feel comfortable. There’s a communality, a comfort that I think brings a community, it’s a melting pot if you will, like an all-encompassing space,” Golden said.

Golden also hopes to include an outdoor installation by projecting artwork onto the back of the courthouse and installing sculptures on the lawn.

He hopes that creating an art district after the old building will inspire creativity.

“We’re looking for a space that inspires the community, I mean, through the pandemic and all these things that we’ve been through. Art and placemaking are things that everyone can enjoy,” said Golden.

Golden estimates the project will take 10 years to complete, but believes that with the help of partnerships with local governments, community groups and schools, that time can be cut in half.

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